Working It Out – Drop Two Sizes

My latest exercise endeavor: Drop Two Sizes by Rachel Cosgrove

The cover? Blech. The model? Meh. The title? Horrendous. (All of which Rachel has addressed here.)

The workouts? Killer. The meal plan? Good. The results? Worth it.

I picked this up after her husband, Alwyn Cosgrove, co-author of the New Rules books that I love so much, recommended it to our NROL4W Facebook group for fat loss. I was definitely hesitant but I’m glad I went for it. As a result, we created a separate facebook group for those interested in her program and it has been so nice to have a support system!

The workouts are tough! They focus a lot on mobility, complex movements, a lot of off-loaded weights, balance stuff. It’s deceptively challenging. Especially the weekly metabolic sessions.

The diet is mostly common sense stuff – lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, some complex carbs, a protein shake daily, and limiting yourself to 2-3 “splurges” a week (which is my biggest challenge). There is a little bit more to it than that but that’s the gist. Nothing crazy here! It works out to be about 1800 calories a day for me.

I doubt I’ll actually drop two sizes (as my diet is not squeaky clean) but I’d be really happy with one. I’m halfway through the program (almost) and can actually button jeans that are 2-sizes-too-small though they are NOT comfortable or flattering. Hello, muffin top!

I love that Rachel is a proponent of ignoring the scale – something I am seemingly incapable of doing. Most women gain weight (~4 pounds) on the plan. But lose 2 sizes. I’m on track with the weight gain, that’s for sure. But these jeans don’t lie. Something is going on with my body composition!

But there’s a problem. I’m essentially no longer running now (thanks to my hips) and now, my knees are acting up again these past couple weeks. My current internal debate is whether to continue on as is, modify the program to ease up on my knees, or stop completely. I have an appointment with my physical therapist in a few weeks and we’ll see what he says. In the meantime, I’m going to dial it down a little.

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New Rules of Lifting: Fat Loss I

Workout Log:

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Workout Schedule: (click to enlarge)

There were a few pretty intense weeks in there with my half marathon training and a couple of recovery weeks while I nursed a knee/hamstring flare up and took it easy on the weights. All in all, it took me 6 weeks to complete what should have theoretically taken me only 4 (lifting 3x/wk) but I’m okay with that considering I was training for the half, ran a 10k, stepped up my yoga game, and did some cross training.

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Please note: I am not following the diet plan and was training for a half marathon even though long, steady state cardio isn’t recommended with this program. You can follow my cross training on DailyMile. And for curious minds, I’m currently up a couple of pounds, still taking progress pictures, and not calorie counting or anything for the time being.

How We Got Back On Track

For months, I’ve been complaining about how I’ve lost my workout mojo. A wedding, honeymoon, move, and new job totally threw me a curve ball and all of my motivation went out the window. Now, after bitching about it for far too long, I feel like I’m back in the game.

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Now, 6 days in a row isn’t a lot (well, with today, it will actually have been 7) and I may be jumping the gun here by saying I’m back at her but since our gym record has been looking more like once a month, if we are lucky, I’d say this is a huge accomplishment for us.

So, how did I do it? Well, to start with, I didn’t. We did. Support system, all the way, baby! Huz and I spent at least two weeks of setting the alarm for the painful hour of 4:45a to hit the gym pre-work and every day, we’d grumble and push it back an hour in our sleep daze. Seriously? Yeah, we did that.

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We told ourselves, ok. We just have to do this. 7 days in a row. No excuses, just do it.

Now obviously, we don’t plan to go on the daily but I think this was an integral aspect of building the habit for us.

We started on Saturday and were going strong… until Wednesday morning hit us. We were both dragging ass and the alarm got pushed back an hour. But we vowed to go after work. And when I got out of bed, I packed my gym bag, and I went after work. Just like that.

I also psyched myself up. I got nerdy.

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Google Calendar, I love you.

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So, my calendar is pink, Huz’s is blue, “our” calendar is purple, and workouts are teal. (We also have a green finances calendar we share as well, keeping track of all them billz but I have spared you that horror.) I’m planning out my workouts in advance and indicating when and what exactly was done.

Oh yeah, and a plan.

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I’m a structure kind of gal. I’m a lot more successful when I have a “to do list” when I get in to the gym otherwise I find my motivation to wane. Some people can wing it. I’m not one of those people. So I turned to an old friend for a structured weight lifting program. 3 times a week, I’ll be pumping iron. The other days, I’ll be doing cardio and yoga where I can.

After just a few sweaty gym sessions, I can definitely tell that my spirits are lifted. But that might just be all the hot butter rums talking.

In all seriousness, I know that I that we still have a long way to go with getting our fitness to 1) where it used to be and then 2) where we want it to be but I find that getting started is really the hardest part. And I thought about holding off until the new year to be a resolution rat but sorry, those last three weeks in December are some of the most indulgent in the entire year so I gotta get crackin on the resolutions yesterday.

Late start… but a good day!

Breakfast

I hit the snooze a little too much this morning and didn’t have time to do a yoga session. Oops!

As I was running downstairs, I hollered at the boy to see what he wanted for breakfast and he said “Cheesy Scrambled Eggs!”

So I scrambled 4 eggs and added some Tillamook Pepperjack Cheese to the mix.

I didn’t want just scrambled eggs and I didn’t feel like toast or anything with them so I decided on a breakfast burrito!

I got out Flat Out Wraps and spread a little sour cream and salsa on the bottom. Topped that with the eggs and added a little Chalupa Sauce.

Wrapped that b!tch up!

 

So yum! Love me some hot sauce!

Along with the usual, iced coffee with vanilla soymilk and a splash of hazelnut soy creamer.

 

This morning, I started a new carpool! Yay! Not only will it be better on my checkbook and the environment, it’ll be nice to use the carpool lane and have some company! Her name is Elana, she’s from Bombay and has 3 kids. We already chatted this morning about my trip to India a few summers ago!

Morning Snack

The usual:

 

Yami Yogurt with Blueberries

Check out how massive that one blueberry is! Insane! Plump and delicious!

Lunch

I had leftover Baked Chicken with Pesto and garlic noodles.

 

And I forgot to take a picture until I had already dug in. Whoops!

A very tiny portion on noodles hiding under that fatty chick boob!

 

Look at how fat that sucker is!

No vegetables. Sad. Partially due to my laziness last night when packing my lunch. Shame on me.

Afternoon Snack

 

A banana.

And a little bit later…

 

A string cheese.

After I dropped off my new carpool friend, I headed to the gym!

I did 40 minutes of crazy elliptical thingy. Burned 350 cals. An accident on the freeway going home drastically cut into my workout time.

Dinner

Tonight’s menu: Black Bean and Artichoke Burritos with Corn Casserole and Kale Chips.

First, I got started on the corn casserole. At Google, a couple weeks back, I had an amazing corn casserole and wanted to recreate it. This is my first attempt at a corn casserole!

  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 2 cans of Cream of Corn
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • red bell pepper

I melted the butter, diced the bell pepper and mixed everything together in a baking dish.

Tossed it in the oven at 350* and set the timer for 30 minutes.

I have a giant Costco-sized jar of artichoke hearts in the fridge that need to get used.

So I went on a search for a unique way to use them, just not your typical Greek/Italian kind of fare.

These burritos fit the bill! And of course, I had to make some adjustments.

I prepared the black beans (undrained, as opposed to what the recipe says). – Side note: that recipe says it makes 8. Lies. It made 4 decent size burritos. Barely. Not big ones. Decent size ones. Either the people that created this recipe make very very tiny burritos or it’s a typo. Ridic. And since the boy had 2 burritos, and I had one, that leaves us in a situash for lunches tomorrow. Good thing I accidentally opened a can of kidney beans first. eyeroll.

I chopped up some onions.

Question: How do you turn this….

… into this…

…in under a minute?

Answer:

I love this guy.

So much easier than pulling out the Cuisnart and gets the job done quick!

In a separate pan, I sauteed onion and minced garlic seasoned with cumin, cayenne, and chili powder. Then I added the artichoke and warmed through. I mixed all this in with the black beans instead of leaving it separate like the original recipe indicates.

Somewhere in here, I diced a very sad looking mushy tomato to top the burritos with.

 

I also trimmed up some kale. I spread it out on a baking sheet, sprayed them with EVOO, sprinkled a light bit of salt, pepper, and cayenne. I stuck them in the oven when the timer for the corn casserole went off and set it again for another 15 minutes.

I fixed up our burritos with the black bean/artichoke/onion mix, sprinkled some 2% cheddar cheese (for the boy, none for me) and diced tomato and avocado slices on top and wrapped them up in the Ezekial Sprouted Grain Tortillas we got at PCC.

O.M.G. Let me tell you about these wraps. They were so good! They don’t have that funky taste like the Flat Outs and La Tortilla Factory ones do. They were firm, didn’t rip too easy, and very flavorful! I wish they weren’t so expensive!

Here’s the stats:

I pulled out the corn casserole and overdone kale chips (oops).

To drink, I had half a pint of the strawberry lemonade from yesterday with club soda.

Much better for my palate today. Not as syrupy sweet!

So let me tell you about dinner. It was GOOD. Real good.

The kale chips were spicy.

The burritos were tangy and delicious.

The corn casserole was sweet and to die for. I look forward to these leftovers. Seriously. So good. Real butter, people! REAL BUTTER!

I am full. Satisfied. Happy. And very happy with the outcome, regardless of my overcooked kale chips. 😉